The spatial and temporal expression of a sea urchin (Anthocidaris crassispina) egg lectin (SUEL) during early embryogenesis was studied using antiserum raised against SUEL. Western blotting analysis revealed the presence of SUEL in all stages so far examined, from unfertilized eggs to gastrula stage embryos. Immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopic observation showed that SUEL was stored in small electron-dense granules which migrated to the cortex within 10 min after fertilization. SUEL was localized i n the cortical cytoplasm of the blastomere during cleavage stages and subsequently migrated to the outer surface of the embryo, including the invaginated portion of the gastrula. Immunoelectron microscopic study indicated that SUEL was deposited in the hyaline layer at least at the mid gastrula stage. Migration of SUEL to the cortex was significantly reduced by treatment with cytochalasin B, suggesting that actin filaments play an important role in this translocation. Exogenously added SUEL was adsorbed at the surface of unfertilized eggs and hatched embryos, but not to embryos with fertilization membrane. Lactose inhibited this adsorption, suggesting the presence of an endogenous glycoligand(s) specific for SUEL on the surface of unfertilized eggs and in the hyaline layer. We conclude that SUEL is secreted at a certain stage of embryogenesis and specifically adsorbed to the hyaline layer. Temporal changes in extraembryonic matrices caused by SUEL seem to play an important role in developmental morphogenesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology